If the L293D enable and input pins expect [up to] 5V inputs; what is the best way to deliver full power to the output pins when using an ESP32 or any other microcontroller which uses 3.3V GPIO pins?

I've seen several projects which combine the L293D with the ESP32, but none of them seem to mention whether or not this is even an issue. Am I missing something? Or should one always use level shifting when using 3.3V logic and the L293D

  • There is a good discussion of this issue at Quora. They note that the logic levels on the L293D is compatible with either 3.3 or 5v mcus but that you need to supply >4.5v power. quora.com/…
    – RowanP
    Feb 16, 2022 at 7:39

1 Answer 1


The voltage level on the control pins does not have any relation to the power provided to the motor.

The inputs are all digital. Above a threshold they are on, and below a threshold they are off. Those thresholds are compatible with both 3.3V and 5V logic.

What controls the power delivered to the motor is the duty cycle of the PWM signal provided to the EN pin.

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